Class of Winter 1948
Cornelis J. Botke
b. Leewarden, Friesland, Holland, 1887
d. Santa Paula, California, 1954
Spring Plowing (or Spring Planting or In the San Gabriel Valley), c.1948
Oil on canvas
32 x 40 inches
Over the course of his lifetime, Cornelis Botke created a significant body of work that won numerous awards and earned the artist critical acclaim. Raised in an orphanage, Botke studied at the School of Applied Art in Haarlem in the Netherlands. He immigrated to the United States in 1905, and moved to Chicago in 1907, enrolling in evening classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. The GHS students presented his painting Spring Plowing with a purchase prize just as the last of the Gardena Valley farmland was being converted into suburban bedroom communities. The students selected the painting in honor of the history and legacy of the school. Gardena High School had started as an agricultural school in a lush agrarian valley and the school’s logo still featured a farmer plowing the fields.
GIFTED: Collecting the Art of California at Gardena High School, 1919-1956 is organized by the GHS Art Collection, Inc, in association with the Gardena High School Student Body and curated by Susan M. Anderson.